Homecoming – Convocation

Nov. 9

I wrote last week about missing Homecoming at N.C. Central University. Some folks reading the blog didn’t know what Homecoming was. So here is a quick definition. As it relates to colleges, Homecoming is an annual event – generally built around a sporting event, usually football – where alums come back to campus to celebrate their glory days. At HBCU’s like NCCU, Homecoming is the biggest event of the year and a chance to catch up with old friends.  This weekend at Harvard we celebrated 70 years of Nieman Fellowships with our Convocation. It was a Homecoming of sort as Nieman Fellows from all over the world, representing classes are far back as 1951 returned to the Yard. It was awesome to see the scope and diversity of the program as it has grown over the years. There have been more than 1,300 Fellows from 88 countries since the program was established. I met a Canadian Fellow – one of the first international fellows – from the class of 1951. There was Lewis Nkosi, the first black South American Fellow. Cecilia Alvear of Ecuador, the first Latin American female to be a Fellow. There were dozens of top media executives. Lord knows how many Pulitzer Prizes winners were in the room, including Ellen Goodman, Louis Kiernan, David Jackson, Bill Marimow, Ann Hull, Geneva Ovenholser and Alex Jones. The speeches were really good, the panels were excellent and the food was tasty. The sensation I have felt about Homecoming, after I graduated, was always a sense of accomplishment. I would return to campus, somewhat successful and floating. But I had forgotten how Homecoming felt when I was actually still in school. I know remember watching those successful folks coming back to campus. Offering advice and telling us how they made it through life. I was a feeling and assumption that these people walked the same hills, lived in the same dorm, ate in the same cafeteria and took the same classes as I did and somehow made it out. That was a great feeling and I felt it again this weekend. Even before I became one, I always knew it was a great honor to be a Nieman. I, along with my classmates, am a part of a great organization, steeped in tradition, loyalty and love for the Nieman Foundation. This weekend just verified it.

Me and 1982 Fellow Gerald Jordan at the Convocation Dinner

Me and 1982 Fellow Gerald Jordan at the Convocation Dinner

Cecilia Alvear (class of '89), the former NAHJ president and the first Latin American female Nieman is joined by her countrywoman, fellow Ecuadorian Mónica Almeida, of the 2009 class.

Cecilia Alvear (class of 89), the first Latin American female Fellow, with her countrywoman and fellow Ecuadorian Mónica Almeida from the 2009 class.


Published in: on November 11, 2008 at 5:56 am  Leave a Comment  

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